Comedy review: Stand Up with Janine Harouni (Please Remain Seated), Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Spanning several popular stand-up themes – a young comic kicking against an older relative’s regressive views; that same comic returning to spend an enforced period of adulthood with their parents; an outsider’s perspective on contrasting cultures; and confronting a life-changing personal setback – Janine Harouni’s debut still manages to be an organic masterpiece of storytelling, rich in fond detail, intricately woven together.

Harouni is sure-footed and her story is very funny. Picture: Contributed

Stand Up with Janine Harouni (Please Remain Seated), Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh * * * *

A jobbing actor living in the UK for seven years, she’s from Staten Island, New York, raised in its blue collar, religious, outspoken and conservative traditions, exemplified by her parents’ views on sex before marriage and her father’s homophobia. Partially of Arab stock, but passing as an Italian-American, she’s been oddly privy to Islamophobia since 9/11. And having seen a bit of the world, she’s converted to a liberal perspective, ensuring that she frequently butts heads with her family. Even so, her parents confound their stereotyping, with Harouni’s feelings towards her father in particular complicated by his good deeds, extending to some exceptional altruism. When tragedy strikes, the family instinctively pulls together. But some differences still need to be bridged.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Read More

Read More
Edinburgh Fringe 2019: The Scotsman critics' best comedy shows to see this year

Until 25 August